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We’re excited to bring you this collection of visionary literary essays by British novelist, philosopher, lecturer, and critic, John Cowper Powys—a companion volume to our recent release of Powys on Books and Sensations. This uniform trade paper edition features Powys’s “literary devotions” and critical essays on Rabelais, Dante, Shakespeare, El Greco, Milton, Charles Lamb, Dickens, Goethe, Matthew Arnold, Shelley, Keats, Nietzsche, Thomas Hardy, Walter Pater, Dostoyevsky, Edgar Allan Poe, and Walt Whitman.
Originally published in 1915 as Visions and Revisions, this collection stood apart from critical writing at the time and added to Powys reputation. An eccentric genius, he is best known for his mystical novels, including the extraordinary Wolf Solent which we’re preparing for publication later this year.
“Powys is still ‘the master’ to me. His words, even today, have the power of bewitching me.” —Henry Miller
“English literature, like English history, teems with inspired dreamers and eccentrics: Bunyan, Blake, Hazlitt, Tolkien, and others, but none is quite as much of an all-rounder as Powys. He is as spiritual as Bunyan, as fantastical as Blake, as down-to-earth as Hazlitt, and every bit as much a fabulist as Tolkien. He is a unique necromancer of literature. He comforts and discomfits in equal measure. The word weird might have been invented just for him.” —Roger Boylan
Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration. It was like the ardour of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet overpowering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips travelled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, “You are mine, you shall be mine, and you and I are one for ever.”
by Joseph Le Fanu
New Urge Editions (NU-119)
paperback, 180 pp., $12.95